The Road Closed, A Path Opens

A digger sits on a dirt road that is closed off in Scottsdale, Arizona on December 9, 2022. Original: _ZFC4265.NEF

I’ve been taking advantage of the cooler weather and Bear’s improving on-leash behavior to take the pup on longer walks, and as with Ellie in Portland I bring a camera along so I can take snapshots of the neighborhood when the mood strikes. I took this picture of Arizona’s favorite pastime, digging up the desert, on a road we hadn’t been down before, near where we turn around and start heading home.

It isn’t meant to be a depressing picture, after all our neighborhood would have been pristine desert several decades ago, and when we moved here I assumed all private land would turn into subdivisions in short order. The hopeful part lies in those mountains to the north, the eastern end of the massive northern section of McDowell Sonoran Preserve that is my favorite and which played a big part in my wanting to move here (I hike most in the middle). Behind me a ways is my other favorite part of the park, linking them is a narrow strip where I haven’t done much hiking.

A few days ago while walking Bear down this road I noticed a trail at the end leading into the desert, grabbing my hiking app sure enough it was a neighborhood trail into that little strip of the preserve, so Bear and I have started exploring this little area while I’m off for a week at the end of the year.

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